Henbit is responsible for painting many lawns with a pinkish purple in the early spring. Henbit actually sprouts from seed planted from the previous springs crop in the fall.
Henbit has square stems, the upper leaves of which appear to encircle the entire stem. It grows in an upright position, seldom reaching heights greater than 12 inches. The flowers range from pink to purple. A related species, purple deadnettle, has foliage that is redder in color and more compact in its arrangement along the stems.
Although henbit is not known for any herbal or medicinal purposes, this plant is used in flower arrangements because of its unusual leaf shape and arrangement.
Henbit is most effectively controlled in the fall. If applied early in the fall before the henbit seeds germinate, you can use a pre-emergent herbicide such as Preen or Halts. Once the henbit has germinated with herbicides in the fall while plants are small and immature. Products containing dicamba, MCPP and 2,4-D have demonstrated effective control in the fall and early spring. In dormant bermudagrass, glyphosate, diquat or metribuzin will control henbit.